PRIMER: Enhancing Rural Broadband

News Release

February 3, 2020

Governor Ducey’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget invests in Arizona’s rural communities. 

Last year, the Governor’s Executive Budget proposed and the final budget passed included funding for the Arizona Rural Broadband Development Grant. The Arizona Commerce Authority recently announced the awardees of the grant, which accelerates the enhancement of broadband infrastructure and supports economic growth. 

The Governor’s FY 2021 Budget Proposal includes $10 million to more than triple the Arizona Rural Broadband Development Grant and enhance broadband infrastructure in even more rural communities. 

In addition, this year’s balanced budget includes $50 million to install broadband conduit and fiber along 514 miles of rural interstate highway as well as an additional $9 million for highway safety technology that utilizes the new fiber. These Smart Highway Corridors include: 

  • Interstate 17 between Sunset Point and Flagstaff,

  • Interstate 40 between the Arizona-New Mexico and Arizona-California borders, 

  • And Interstate 19 between Tucson and Nogales

The Smart Highway Corridors include new traffic safety technology along the three routes such as infrared wrong-way detection systems, road temperature sensors, dynamic message signs and traffic cameras that will support first responders and improve highway safety. The new broadband conduit will open the door for private sector partnerships that support 21st century freight, the future of automated vehicles and rural broadband connectivity.

 

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